Wholesaler Open Fiber partnered with Nokia to deliver fiber-to-the-home gigabit broadband to rural regions of Italy as part of the nation's Gigabit Society initiative.
Italy has urged the creation of a nationwide high-speed all-fiber optic network to bolster Italian businesses, education and consumers. The government drew up a plan in 2015 that divided up the country into clusters: A, B, C and D. Each municipality was assigned to a cluster; factors determining a municipality's cluster included lower or higher housing density, market size and whether or existing broadband coverage.
Teaming up with Nokia allows Open Fiber to enhance internal operations to reduce complexity and cost, future-proof its infrastructure and enhance customer service, the provider said. Open Fiber will use Nokia products including the 7360 ISAM FX-16 and FX-4 platforms, 7362 DF - 16GW, 7368 ISAM ONTs and the 5520 AMS Element Manager.
The Nokia 7360 FX platform already supports next-generation PON technologies like XGS-PON and NG-PON2, and is set to evolve toward software-defined access networks (SDAN), according to the vendor. That was important to Open Fiber, said Stefano Paggi, network and operations director at Open Fiber, in a statement.
"We have selected Nokia as our supplier in clusters C and D to deliver giga-services and pave the way for future ultra-broadband technology evolutions," said Paggi noted. "With Nokia's solutions we will be able to offer services at 10 gigabit per second and in the future at 40 Gbps on the access network. We will also have the opportunity to adopt the software defined networking paradigm and, therefore, to maximize the potential of a new generation access network, with high automation, programmable and integrated with cloud environments."
When Open Fiber sought funding last year for its 6.5 billion euro (US$7.35 billion) rural broadband network, it said the infrastructure would encompass 271 Italian cities and about 7,000 municipalities, according to Reuters. The wholesale-only provider received a seven-year, 3.5 billion euro (US$4 billion) project finance deal with BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and UniCredit in April 2018, the news agency reported. Open Fiber expected to receive those monies within "the next few months," Reuters said.
That timing tallies with Open Fiber's announcement today of its selection of Nokia and the vendor's array of products, services and software necessary for planning, designing, deploying and supporting end-to-end active infrastructure based on GPON technologies.
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana.